Updated 2017 Rankings: Top 40 Starting Pitchers #21-40: High Upside Arms Fill The Rankings

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Earlier today we posted the first half of this rankings, which were influenced by injury scares and concerns.  While that obviously has a trickle down effect, the next set of 20 pitchers is full of high upside, intriguing arms.  Who makes the cut?  Let’s take a look:

21) Jon Gray – Colorado Rockies
22) Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
23) Kenta Maeda – Los Angeles Dodgers
24) Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies
25) Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays
26) Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves
27) Matt Shoemaker – Los Angeles Angels
28) Kevin Gausman – Baltimore Orioles
29) Michael Pineda – New York Yankees
30) Carlos Rodon – Chicago White Sox
31) Danny Salazar – Cleveland Indians
32) Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
33) Matt Harvey – New York Mets
34) Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks
35) Cole Hamels – Texas Rangers
36) Danny Duffy – Kansas City Royals
37) Robbie Ray – Arizona Diamondbacks
38) Jeff Samardzija – San Francisco Giants
39) Collin McHugh – Houston Astros
40) Matt Moore – San Francisco Giants


  • Matt Harvey has seen his stock drop this spring, as he works his way back from injury and had been showing poor results and decreased velocity. Reports did have his velocity back up in his last outing, but that doesn’t mean that there still shouldn’t be concern hanging over him.  There’s significant reward, but there’s also the risk that he never comes close to being the pitcher that he once was.  Keep that in mind before investing heavily.
  • Many are high on Justin Verlander, so why is it that he falls outside of our Top 20? Sure he posted impressive numbers last season, but there was a significant split (4.07 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in the second half) and he’s hardly a guarantee to match his tremendous second half (1.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP).  Take a look at our in-depth look at him by clicking here.
  • We all know that Colorado Rockie pitchers carry a certain stigma, but can Jon Gray overcome it? We certainly think so, and find out why by clicking here.
  • There are a lot of high upside names on this list, including Robbie Ray, Carlos Rodon and Aaron Nola. They all have the potential to pitch like Top 20 starting pitchers and are well worth investing in.
  • Another pitcher with a high upside is the Indians’ Danny Salazar, who is often overshadowed by the likes of Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. To find out what we are expecting from him this season, check out our projection by clicking here.

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking Here!!   Not only will you get all the help you need to dominate your fantasy draft, but you will also be entered to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with “Thor” inscription! ***

Make sure to check out our other 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
Relief Pitcher01/02/17--


  1. Sam says:

    No love for Taillon or McCullers?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      McCullers I have concern over his control (and thus an inflated WHIP)

      Taillon’s strikeout rate could keep his value down as well

  2. Sawyer says:

    What are your thoughts on Moore? I expected him to be much higher.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m a big fan, but there are still potential control issues (look at his August) and there could be HR issues (though pitching in SF helps to offset that). Wouldn’t surprise me if he outperforms this ranking.

  3. terry says:

    what about jose quintana?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I know most believe in Quintana and I’m in the minority, but I remain skeptical. I think the best way to answer this is to share my thoughts from the Rotoprofessor Draft Guide:

      “It was another impressive season for Quintana, posting a 3.20 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. At this point it’s impossible not to love his control (2.16 BB/9 in ’16), but is there value beyond that? He saw his groundball rate plummet (47.1% to 40.4%), and in most months didn’t crack a 40% mark. It’s interesting, because he increased the usage of his sinker (25.25%) and that makes you question the effectiveness. That increase came at the expense of his curveball, his key secondary pitch that opponents teed off on (.462 SLG). He also showed less swing and miss stuff (7.6% SwStr%) and he never showed a big put away pitch before, so it’s not a surprise. While the trade rumors have his name in the spotlight, he seems like an overdraft in the making.”

  4. Carlito says:

    professor how concerned are you about Nola? I just drafted him late like round 19. His spring isn’t scaring you?

  5. Gary says:

    I am not sure why Rodon keeps being over ranked especially over the likes of Salazar, Cole, and Duffy. There are great evaluations on this site but this one is almost laughable. Rodon now in his third year certainly has great strikeout potential but can’t stay healthy and can’t keep base runners off the base paths.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      There was a bit of bad luck with Rodon last season, but he actually appeared to solve his control issues and had a 1.22 WHIP in the second half. He’s a young pitcher that is developing and had the potential to take a massive leap forward this season.

      Obviously the injuries are a different story, and this latest setback is going to knock him outside of the Top 50 anyway

  6. Xander says:

    Is Shoemaker that good, or a refection on some of the guys below him (e.g. Cole, Salazar) who may be overrated?

  7. CJ says:

    In a redraft Standard Points league, would you take Aaron Nola or Matt Moore??

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